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Hudson Valley Press

March 14th, 2012

“On My Own” explores absent fathers’ impact

Former Knicks guard Allan Houston stands with filmmaker Rachel Miller, whose new documentary, “On My Own,” discusses single Black mothers.
New York, NY - A new television documentary will tackle the issue of broken families in Black communities all across the United States. “On My Own” will present the stories of African American mothers who are struggling to raise children without help from the men who fathered them.

Filmmaker Rachel Miller’s hour-long presentation will be told by women who juggle work and family responsibilities, as well as women who must rely on the government for assistance, as they try to house, feed and educate their children. Historical perspective will be woven-in, including slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. The effects of the media and the contributions of the black church will also be covered.

We will hear from the children and about the difficulties they face - their need for a male role model, their feelings of inadequacy, abandonment and frequently of guilt, and of the resentment they often experience. We will also hear from fathers, some of whom regret not having been there for their families, and some who would like to assume a greater role in raising their children. Former New York Knick Allan Houston also discusses his foundation, which promotes fatherhood in families.
Noting that a disproportionately large percentage of the Black women she came in contact with were single mothers, Miller observed that they were “intelligent, productive, beautiful, and strong.”

“Even though I understand the historic and social events that brought about this social dilemma, I am still very saddened and troubled by it, and determined to do something about it,” said Miller.

In an attempt to present an open dialogue between Black fathers, mothers, children, religious leaders and the entire community about developing and implementing strategies aimed at reversing this most distressing social condition, Miller concluded, “It’s time for serious discussion about this problem, and for change in the Black Family.”

Cheryl Wills, television anchor for New York 1 News and author of “Die Free: A Heroic Family Tale,” said, “[Miller’s] documentary addresses this societal issue through these stories, and also reviews slavery in the United States and its long lasting effect on the structure of the Black Family,”

Rachel Miller is a young black filmmaker with a Master’s Degree in Media Arts from Long Island University. She currently works for New York 1 News in New York City, having served previously as a public affairs television assistant for Bill Moyers (PBS).

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